Key websites

Parliament of Australia is the official website of Australian parliament.  It includes information on parliamentary departments, links to committee reports, full text of bills, speeches, biographical information, parliamentary publications, and more.

Making Laws describes the passage of a bill through federal Parliament.

Parliamentary committees gives information about the committee system and lists the current and former Senate, House and Joint Committees

The Parliamentary Education Office (PEO) provides parliamentary education services to schools, teachers and students

Australia.gov.au has links to official websites of government departments

Commonwealth Budget – includes budget speech, budget overview and guide, and portfolio budget statements.

High Court of Australia - general information, sitting days, text of recent judges' speeches etc.

What does the Library hold?

The National Library collects government publications, general works, manuscripts and other material can be accessed through the Catalogue.  Items include:

Pictures

Browse the catalogue for portraits of politicians; search for ‘federal politicians’ and limit to ‘Occupation’ and ‘Picture’ to see these results. You can also search for names and events, limiting the results to ‘Picture’.

Oral histories

Old Parliament House political and parliamentary oral history project  Recorded from 6 August 2009 and ongoing. Barry York, in ‘Politically Speaking’, National Library Magazine, September 2014, pp. 20-23, reports on this project.

Reference Collection

Available on open access in the Main Reading Room

Parliamentary handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia 1901+
Information on the parliament, biographical details of parliamentarians, election information and historical statistics.
Call number: RF 328.94 AUS
Also available online from the Parliament House website

House of Representatives Practice 6th edition, 2012
Explanation of the laws and practices of the House of Representatives including: roles of office holders, the parliamentary calendar, motions, legislation, Senate amendments, questions and committees etc.
Call number RF 328.9405 A938-6

Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice 1953+
Explanation of the laws and practices of the Senate including: its constitutional role, parliamentary privilege, elections, officers, motions and amendments, debate, legislation, committees and relations with the Executive Government and the judiciary.
Call number: NLq 328.9405 ODG; latest issue in the Main Reading Room Reference Collection

Finding Government publications

GovPubs : the Australian Government Publications Guide is a guide to locating selected types of Australian government publications, including Acts, Hansards, Gazettes and Parliamentary Papers.

GovPubs has a description of each type of publication, and what you can expect to find in the documents. It also includes information about changes in titles, dates of publications and available indexes.

Use the Browse by Publication function to find Government publications in National, State and Territory libraries and online.

Committee reports are bound with Parliamentary papers, or you can search for reports by committee name in the Catalogue, for example, Final report / Select Committee on the National Broadband Network

Case Study

A researcher is looking for the 1993 Australian Labor Party election proposal which contains details about the proposed dental reform for low income earners and pensioners.

There are a number of online documents (e.g. parliamentary speeches) looking at the dental scheme, for example, Commonwealth Dental Health Program Abolition, but in this case we are looking for the proposal put forward by the ALP in the lead up to the 1993 election.

Media releases (including speeches) can be found in the Ministerial document service: daily collation of Ministers' and Opposition Leaders' statements. We can check January to March 1993, leading up to the election.

Nothing in the monthly indexes specifically mentions the Dental Reform program; however the election statements by the Prime Minister (Paul Keating) and by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health (Brian Howe) are included.

The earliest speech which mentions the Dental Reform Program is from Brian Howe, in a speech in Port Macquarie on the "Fight for Medicare" (Page 6660 of the Nos. 139 - 156 Ministerial Document Service volume) on 24 February:

"Today the Prime Minister announced initiatives which extend the caring arm of Medicare.

"First, a public dental scheme for those people who really need it. All health card holders - that is two million Australians - will now be eligible for free dental services".

The Prime Minister's speech is not in this volume, but can be accessed online at The Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House. This is also dated 24th February 1993. However, no details are given, just the general outline:

"A new Commonwealth dental health program will be established for emergency and basic dental care for health card holders."

The Parliament of Australia website has published a research paper on dental health in Australia. See under "Commonwealth Dental Health Program" for more references.